Hidden Fire Dangers in Your House

According to the National Fire Protection Association, firefighters in the United States respond to one fire per hour. Smoking is the leading cause of home fire deaths. There are other ways you can accidentally start a fire. These are just a few of the hidden fireplaces in your home.

Batteries

According to Craig Gjelsten (VP of Operations at Rainbow International), all batteries are a fire hazard, even weaker ones. This is because they can cause fires and water, and mold damage. Gjelsten states that 9-volt batteries are the most dangerous. Their terminals are close together, so they can easily shorten. “I recommend that you store your batteries upright and place electrical tape over each end of each one, regardless of what type of battery they are. You should also avoid storing batteries near keys, steel wool, or other metal objects.

Dust bunnies and damaged electrical equipment

Damaged electrical equipment can cause it to overheat, leading to a fire. Tom Wallace is a Certified Master Inspector at Home Check Inspections located in Riverview, FL. Wallace says that it is crucial to inspect your electrical equipment regularly for frayed or damaged cords or plugs. This is not always true. Bill Timmons is the Marketing Manager for Residential Products at. He says that extension or power cords placed behind a table or bed and repeatedly knocked against could wear out. Walking on cords, such as under carpets or on your hardwood flooring, can cause damage. Gjelsten warns that dust bunnies can cause fires by forming around heaters, sockets, and electronics. He recommends that you regularly vacuum the dust around appliances, wires, and outlets.

Coffee makers

According to Battalion Chief Raymond Williams of the Birmingham Fire and Rescue Service Department, Birmingham, AL. “Your coffee pot might overheat and cause a fire.” According to Williams, coffee pots made of plastic parts can heat up if they are not turned off. Even though most coffee pots equipped with digital clocks have an automatic shutoff of two hours, this is still too long for them to heat up. Kenmore also recalls 145,000 coffee pots that were defectively wired several years back. To be safe, ensure that your coffee maker is always on the go.

Flammable liquids

It is not surprising that gasoline and kerosene can accidentally start a fire. Wallace says that these flammable substances should be kept away from heat sources and stored in suitable containers. “The containers should be labeled and easily identifiable.”However, other flammable liquids can also start a fire. A Texas woman opened a nail polish remover bottle and left it next to a candle in an unventilated area. She suffered third-degree burns after the bottle caught fire.

Laptops

You’re probably familiar with the heat caused by a laptop being held in one’s lap for a long time. You might not have realized that your laptop can catch fire. “Laptops can heat up during normal operation. Gjelsten warns that if the batteries are placed on a blanket or other similar surface, they can heat up and start a fire. Gjelsten warns against placing your laptop on any soft surface. Consider using a laptop stand if you don’t have a desk or home office.

Bulbs

Is there a term called “overlamping” that you are familiar with? Overlapping is when the bulb’s wattage is too high. Gjelsten warns against overlapping as it can cause a fire in your home. Gjelsten states that overlapping is when you use a 75-watt light bulb in a 40-watt lamp. Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) are also a danger, according to Gjelsten. He advises against using CFLs if the fixture covers the bulb’s base. This includes track and recessed lighting. Gjelsten suggests an alternative cooler option such as LED.

Dryer vents

As you clean up your laundry area, remember to clean the dryer vent regularly. According to Dave Lavalle (Founder of Dryer Vent Wizard), you should empty your dryer lint screen before every load. He explains that dryer vents and ducts carry the air and lint outside, but some of it is trapped inside the lint screen. Because lint can be very combustible and should be removed before each load, he also suggests that the screen be cleaned with soapy water quarterly. This is because detergent, fabric softener, and other materials can buildup and create a transparent screen. Lavelle suggests you also check the transition duct, a flexible tube-shaped duct connecting the dryer to the duct. He recommends that you check behind the dryer every other month to ensure the transition duct isn’t broken or crushed.

Hidden fire sources

Gjelsten warns that newspapers and magazines can catch fire if they are left too close to heat sources. He also warns that heating pads and blankets should not be placed between the box spring and mattress. Gjelsten advises against heating these items on any setting other than the lowest. Gjelsten suggests that the bag be stored in a metal pail, garbage container with a tight-fitting lid.

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